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Marzhan's Great Grandmother Had Harriet Tubman's Daring

kazakhnomad
Jan 24, 2009, 7:07 PM 1

Nowadays young people have scanty knowledge about their ancestor’s history, about their life. Same with me. This morning I called my mom to learn more about my family’s history. I discovered so many interesting facts about my great-grand mother’s and my grandmother’s life, that I decided to write about them.

My great-grand mother Musan was born in health. Her father was very rich man, he was a “bay”.  When Musan was very young, there were a lot of internecine wars, after one battle with neighboring tribe her father disappeared. After losing him, their family life became terribly hard. So Musan’s mother decided to marry her. Man from very rich family took her; he was old, much older than Musan. He was a “bay” too. After a while she bore him two children, boy Mukhtar and girl Kamash.  Then came the Soviet time and began different repressions. Musan’s husband was taken away, she never saw him again. She moved her family to Katon-Karagay region and settled down in Uril village. She worked very hard to raise up her children; she did not get married again.

At the same time repressions were continuing. Soviet government annihilated rich people. People ran away from Kazakhstan, most of them ran to China. My great-grand mother helped them, only she knew secret path through the woods, by virtue of this path people could pass the border of China. Musan went at night and came back at home in the morning. She helped many people to get a new life, but far away from home. My great-grand mother Musan was very brave, courageous, fearless, valiant woman, also she was ineffably beautiful and very intelligent. She was a devoted mother and fond wife. At her funeral came the whole village and even people from neighboring villages.

As I wrote earlier, my great-grand mother had a daughter Kamash. She was born in 1930, 1 of January. Kamash apa, as I call her, had a very hard life too. During the World War II she laboured in the field, helped her motherland in rear area, she was only eleven years old. In 1950 she got married to my grandfather Kabdrakhman. In 1951 Kamash apa gave birth to their first child, but after three years he died of measles. After a while she bore seven children, five girls and two boys. Time waxed on her, children were growing up.

My grand father was a very well known man, he was a hero, and he was rewarded many times. He had Order of Red Flag. But in 1976 he died from gullet cancer. So my grandmother stayed with seven children. It was very difficult time. She had to get very hard job on the brickyard to feed her children. All their work on this plant was hand work, people had to carry bricks, lay them down, and dry them. For all these work they were paid thirty ruble, when people on the other places got one hundred or one hundred and ten ruble. On this money my grandmother raised up seven children. She made everything herself: she embroidered “syrmak”; it is Kazakh national carpet, worked in the garden, sewed clothes for her children. She did everything at home, certainly children helped her.

Kamash apa is wonderful woman. She is 79 years old and still lives in Uril, Katon-Karagay region, in her son’s family. You know, Kamash apa can’t do nothing, she is always busy, she darns broken clothes, binds socks and jackets. I love her very much; she is my ideal of woman. I want to be brave, strong, and firm as my grandmother.

I am really proud of my family’s history, I am proud that such heroic women are my great-grand mother and grandmother.

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